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  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

Is Grace Really Enough?

One of my favorite worship songs of a generation ago is the simple declaration, "Your grace is enough. Your grace is enough. Your grace is enough for me."

"What more could I have done for you?" That question usually arises at the point of despair or frustration, or maybe even anger. You have poured all you energy into someone, but all of the effort seems to have gone for naught.

Isaiah presents God asking that question about his vineyard, his cherished love. He went all out tending, preparing, and protecting them, awaiting the sweet produce of righteousness and justice. Instead, when it came time to celebrate the harvest he was met with the tart sourness of injustice and unholiness.

What more could he have done? God doesn't ask that question in condescending anger, but in gut wrenching mourning. He gave Judah every advantage to bear sweet spiritual fruit. He delivered them from Egypt. He made his home with them. He protected them from their enemies. He established them in the land. He gave them his instructions. He repeatedly demonstrated forgiveness, and when necessary exerted discipline. But for them his grace was not enough.

What is our excuse for the tartness of our spiritual walk? We have absorbed his written instruction. He gave us his son as a redeeming sacrifice. He removed our sin, guilt, and shame. He extends mercy, grace, and redemption. He cleanses, restores, renews, and recreates. He gave us life and breath; the opportunity for livelihood, productivity and vocation. He moved in to us, granting us the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the spirit, rather than the deeds of death. Yet, sometimes that is still not enough for our lives to be the fruitful product God longs for.

Think about what God has done for you. What is in you that makes his grace insufficient to fulfill his work in you?

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